German Business Culture

904 words | 4 page(s)

Germany is located in the western-central region of Europe, and is one of the most developed economies in the world. The country is characterized by a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid winds that occur rather frequently. Moreover, the North Atlantic Drift turns out to moderate German climate to a certain extent (Schmiedel, vom Brocke, & Recker, 2014). The eastern part of the country is presented by a more continental climate, implying that winter temperatures may be quite low and summer temperatures may be quite high. Upon arriving to Germany, I am interested in purchasing my own vehicle, which would facilitate my movement and make it more comfortable within the country (Djurssa, 1994). It is important to indicate that German people tend to emphasize punctuality and privacy as essential parameters of major national customs and traditions. In this context, values of hard work are extensively appreciated by Germans. It can be also said that German people are famous for their perfectionism in different aspects of life.

In an attempt to determine the type of culture available in Germany, it is essential to focus on the way German people think and interact in society. Based on Hofstede’s cultural model, it can be considered that Germany appears to be individualistic. The degree to which the country is individualistic is relatively high because its score is identified as 67 on the scale of Hofstede (Schmiedel, vom Brocke, & Recker, 2014). This means that Germans are solely focused on personal achievements and basic personal rights. Although team work emerges with particular importance in Germany, all individuals have the right to voice their opinions and concerns on different issues. Likewise, Germans are expected to maintain more loose relationships in comparison to collectivist countries, as the latter predominantly focus on the importance of extended families (Djurssa, 1994). By comparing the culture of Germany to that of the U.S., it seems that the U.S. is also individualistic. However, the score of the U.S. on Hofstede’s scale is 91, showing ultimate dominance of individualistic culture. The so-called ‘American dream’ is a clear representation of the individualistic dimensions of the U.S. culture.

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In terms of masculinity versus femininity, Germany appears to have masculine values. While masculine cultures present a strong focus on competitive forces, success and money, feminine cultures emphasize relationships and quality parameters of life. Although Germany has been identified as a predominantly masculine culture, it also demonstrates the significance of feminine values to a certain degree (Martin et al., 2013). In Germany, the importance of earning a good salary is similar to the determination to maintain a high quality of life. For instance, some German people are solely oriented toward improving their personal accomplishments in the work environment rather than receiving materialistic benefits. This aspect can be confirmed in the extensively long periods of paid vacation for Germans (Schmiedel, vom Brocke, & Recker, 2014). In comparison, the U.S. culture ranks higher than German culture in terms of masculinity values. According to researchers, Americans turn out to be goal oriented. In line with this cultural trait, Americans mostly value independence and their capacity to involve in individual decision making.

In order to better understand German business culture, individuals should consider the dimensions of formality of Germany. German business culture and the lifestyle as a whole appears to be formal. There is a focus on steep hierarchies that identify specific differences in terms of power and authority (Martin et al., 2013). An important element of formal business culture, as available in Germany, is its strategic plan. This means that all aspects are purposefully planned in German business culture. Examples of this statement can be found in properly written corporate policies and operating procedures outlined by German organizations. In fact, German people have long been considered the ‘masters of planning’ due to the dominance of the mentioned element of careful planning. They are focused on ensuring a high level of security in both their professional and personal lives. Therefore, business is perceived as a rather serious issue in Germany, implying that German people generally do not accept the practice to apply humor in the business context (Djurssa, 1994). Another aspect that should be considered in relation to German business culture is the fact that Germans do not like any sudden changes in their business environment, or in any business transactions they complete on a daily basis.

One of the characteristics that I feel make me the best candidate to assume this new position as expatriate is my flexibility and openness to change. It is apparent that by accepting the challenge to work in Germany, I realize the importance of being open-minded and flexible in terms of my adaptation to German business culture (Martin et al., 2013). I am highly confident that the process of my adaptation to the respective culture would be facilitated by my strong desire to learn essential cultural norms and customs that are typical to German culture. Another characteristic that makes me a suitable candidate for the position is my individualistic personality because I am constantly focused on advancing my personal achievements (Djurssa, 1994). In other words, I am goal-driven as well as success oriented, which makes me believe that I would adapt quite fast to German business culture. In addition, I have no problem with the high degree of formality evident in German business culture. In conclusion, I am ready to embrace the challenge of living and working in Germany because this would help me further progress in my career.

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